How to start an online boutique store is one of those questions that will never be old.Fashion constantly varies with time, and clothes allow you to choose from a large collection of different items for both men and women. By the end of this guide, you will know how to start online boutiques – business ins and outs, ways to find good suppliers and dropshippers , while the supplier is also searching for the vetting process.
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Ok, here’s a fact:
Clothing usually has vertical markups, so that you can make some mistakes in the way without destroying your profit margin.
For example, jeans often have 100-350% markup, so you will get an important pillow to give products discount and compete with fashion dogs of big retailers.
Similarly, the fabric is similar to ornaments. You can earn a lot of money because a lot of pricing is subjective on the look of the look, and you have to choose between thousands of markets in the market below.
Do not forget – you would like to know the best tools and techniques to create online fashion boutes from scratch.
In the end, I will share some suggestions for the promotion of your boutique brand.
Btw, I’ve done a video version of the tutorial if you want to hear my voice, for you in
So, without further ado, here’s our guide to starting an online boutique.
Legal Essentials for Online Fashion Boutique
Since these are clothes, so there is no need to get a special license to launch your online boutique. Therefore, you just have to look at the small business laws of your state and find out the type of licensing in that area. It comes in handy for tax purposes and to avoid any problems arising in the future.
In general, you want to officially create a business in your state.
The only thing to worry about is whether you are going to store your own goods or not? I will discuss the benefits and downsides of doing this in the section below, but in most businesses, large quantities of inventory, they have to double check the local lease or zoning code.
For example, they probably will not care if you have a few hundred pairs of clothes that have fallen into your basement. But, it gets disturbed when this number changes in thousands and you are trying to work it in a small apartment.
You never know when things turn to worse. Therefore, make sure that you do not ignore these two important points.
And now, get down to business.
Step 1: Finding the Right Clothing Suppliers
Since the clothes come from all types of suppliers, it can be difficult to find out where you are going to find the best things.
The first order of business is to decide on a place .
It can look like a good idea to take a similar view of big fashion companies by selling everything from men’s clothing to jewelry, pants, shirts and socks. But, the most successful brands start somewhat small.
I mean to say little – concentrated mind .
For example, you can complete those women who are interested in high fashion look since the 1970s. These items are going to be very difficult to find the average consumer, and what price tag can you slap on these products, is not to tell.
After all, there is no benchmark to compare people.
I tell you a secret – if you have got a supplier who sells special , like the above mentioned products, you are already ahead of the curve.
Invest in some quality time for research and believe me, it will produce fruit.
Bulk (or storage of your own items) are going on the route
There is a more traditional route to take – where you contact one or two suppliers, agree to buy a certain amount of inventory, then store that inventory in your basement, garage, storage facility, or warehouse. .
Bulk suppliers are more common than DropShopper (included in later sections), so you should easily spot by completing a quick Google search.
Here’s an example of a search query that is easy to remember: “Enter the niche here” wholesaler. Use the variations of this and you will have a list shortly.
You can also browse popular websites like Alibaba and contact some more reputable suppliers who will be ready to send you the cheapest rates.
Do not forget about the flexibility of this industry
Fashion customers are looking for element of strangeity. It is not necessarily new. After exploring through pre-used clothing shops to find some precious gems, many online clothing stores have been launched by those who sell items used through eBay.
I have classified it with the bulk category, the reason is that you need to store products in your house or warehouse. The only difference is that you can usually find the items very cheap, but you have to apply a lot of work.
One last thing to consider when shopping for a wholesale supplier is the sales pitch.
Most wholesalers are open to speaking with new businesses. In addition, some solid relationships are made in this way. Therefore, to understand the differences in pricing and shipping costs, focus on both local and international wholesalers.
Before we go to 2, take a look at the pros and cons of working with wholesale distributors.
Benefits of bulk
- Clothing is often easy to store and can be packed in such a way that it does not take too much space.
- You have the opportunity to control shipping and packaging that goes into the fabric. It is important for branding purposes.
- You have more control over the quality of your products because you can see the items before sending them.
- You have to make more efforts for shipping and packaging.
- Although you save money by buying in bulk, but it seems expensive in the short period because you have to buy many things.
- Due to storage, shipping and packaging, there is a lot of overhead in the bulk.
Step 2: Consider dropshipping for your fashion boutique
Dropshipping is a bit more difficult to setup for your online boutique.
This is primarily due to the fact that not all fabric suppliers are deteriorated. However, Alixpress (Alibaba owned retail platform) is a great place to start because you can search on the basis of clothing and suppliers with good ratings.
If you are not fond of Chinese suppliers, then you can search online local suppliers and they can call them whether they provide or not dropshipping services . This is not a weird question, so it is not bad to ask the right bat.
Similarly, here are some things you should know about dropsypiping.
Benefits of DropsyShipping
- There is no need to pay for storage or worry.
- Things like shipping and packaging are taken care of.
- When you start, you often spend very little money.
Downsides of Dropshipping
- You may have a problem with customer service because the package is not being sent back to you and your control over the whole process is low.
- Products can not be inspected individually before sending.
- It can take a very long time for your customers to get your product.
Step 3: Waiting for your suppliers
Can we agree on the fact that it does not matter whether you choose bulk or drop shipping? Because they are the proper part of the fluctuation in both ways.
More importantly, you want suppliers to see if it is going to be a meaningful partnership before it is committed to them.
AliExpress Check out Alibaba and you can usually locate the contact information on the supplier’s main page. Sometimes it is not there, but you always have the opportunity to communicate through the site.
Ideally, you want to get someone on the phone so that you can ask questions, know more about the supplier and make notes in the process.
When you are chatting with a local supplier, that’s what happens. I advise to go through the following concerns to ensure that your online boutique has its right supplier:
- Is the quality of clothing up to your boutique standards? If so, will supplier send you some samples to test?
- Do you have a point person to speak with every week or month? It is necessary to manage the long-standing relationship. Otherwise, you will have trouble talking to someone when something goes wrong with shipping or products.
- Does the supplier have a history of success? Is it obedient, economically healthy and prestigious in the industry?
Some of these questions can be answered by completing some online research, but most of the time you can go through the steps with your point-of-person person on the phone.
Step 4: Designing the Best Online Boutique Store
Since this is a popular industry, you only have to go to the clothing or fashion category and choose the template according to your brand.
Yes, this is as simple.
If you are just starting, then we recommend using Shopify, along with the Oberloapp.
In this way, you can use a Shopify Boutique template, then automatically pull product information from AliExpress using Obero. This includes product images, descriptions, pricing, and more.
It is configured for drop shipping, but it makes the most sense to save money and to run your site fast.
Step 5: How to start an online boutique and start marketing on a large scale
Marketing your online boutique is a bit easier to do this in other industries because social media users generally like to see fashion products on the most popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Therefore, here are some suggestions, which I want to share in your marketing efforts for success:
- Create Instagram and Facebook accounts and share pictures of models (or regular people) wearing your goods.
- Temporarily stop advertising when your social media posts perform well.
- Capture visually stunning photos of your clothes, both on and off models.
- Think about channels like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy.
- Launch an email list to send coupons and rewards.
- Try reaching out to people like bloggers and famous people, who can be ready to wear your clothes.
Are you ready to kickstart your online business?
Learning how to start an online boutique depends on your research of efficient suppliers and the above factors. The primary goal is to maintain the optimum cost as you are starting so that you can comfortably stay in the industry.
You just have to work hard and try for greatness and you will be the next Jack Ma.
If you have any questions about starting a boutique, tell us in the comment below.